Working in an AT WILL State

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  1. Bellamie profile image60
    Bellamieposted 8 years ago

    Washington state is an "AT WILL" state and most employers are under the assumption that they don't have to have a reason to fire an employee.  One employer actually told me that he could fire a person because he didn't like the patch on her  shirt!  Because I was not at all sure that was true I made some phone calls, spoke with a judge and an assistant general attorney and found out that yes an employer does have to have a viable reason to fire employee.  Are you working in an AT WILL state?  What do you think of this policy?

  2. Cagsil profile image82
    Cagsilposted 8 years ago

    The "at will" stipulation must be on the application, so that the person who is filling out the application knows. Employers must make sure that employees know this beforehand.

    I live in Mass and "at will" employment is part of it, but is on each application.

    On a side note- "at will" employment gives too much power to the company. wink

    1. Bellamie profile image60
      Bellamieposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Employers use the "at will" law to make employees feel threatened, like they could lose their job at any moment.  It is too much power., I agree Cagsil.

  3. Michael Willis profile image78
    Michael Willisposted 8 years ago

    It is called "Right To Work" here in Arkansas. Employers tell you they can fire you "at will" anytime they please. I have seen it done many times.
    But...Federal Labor Laws/EEOC rules do apply. This is why the chart is displayed on Employers wall.

    It is often difficult to prove the employer broke the law when they will have employees that want to keep their jobs lie to back them up if needed. False paperwork can be easily written to cover the tracks of the employer.

    Just as a former employer is not allowed to "trash a former worker"...easy way around it. Commonly known here that all the former employer has to say is..."No Comment" and it is understood!

    1. Cagsil profile image82
      Cagsilposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Hey Michael,

      A better way around it is for a new employer to ask an old employer if they would re-hire the employee. The old employer can tell the new employer..outright- "No, we would not re-hire them".


      So much for not "blacklisting", huh? sad

      1. Michael Willis profile image78
        Michael Willisposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Got that right!  I remember a young guy who was fired last summer. he just wasn't cut out for commercial electrical construction on a fast-paced job.
        The young guy applied to am "electrical supply house" for a job position. I think he would have probably fit there. He had the computer skills needed and the knowledge of the materials.
        I was in hearing range of the boss when he got the call from the supply house for a reference. I was Amazed at how bad he trashed the young man. Call him totally worthless and sorry!

        Just because the young man was not cut out for our job, does Not mean he is Worthless!!!

    2. readytoescape profile image59
      readytoescapeposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      That’s not exactly correct, First the AT WILL phrase relates to Employers and their rights to choose the type of employees they want hire, mostly it allows the employer the right to hire union or non-union workers or both.  The Right to Work state states are geared more towards employees in that an worker has the right to work without being forced to join a union. Many states have laws supporting both.

      An Employer in either scenario still can terminate the employment of any employee for any reason “other” than those specifically listed and protected by federal law, namely age, sex, creed, or religion.

      1. Michael Willis profile image78
        Michael Willisposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        It is what employers in Arkansas call it, Right to work.  They use this as their excuse to do whatever they want to believing Federal Laws do not matter. I work here and have seen it and heard those words from so many employers in Arkansas. Whether that is the "original use" of the term or not, it is what they call it here.

        1. Michael Willis profile image78
          Michael Willisposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Plus, Arkansas is not a big Union state either.

        2. readytoescape profile image59
          readytoescapeposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          I understand that MW I was just explaining the difference between the two and if memory serves, Arkansas when I used to run crews there, qualified as both.

          1. Michael Willis profile image78
            Michael Willisposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            I see what you are saying. Arkansas is different than most states.  The problem here is that in most cases, even lawyers and legislators will back an employer's rights over those of any employee. It is almost next to impossible for anyone to win a legal action against an employer here.

  4. Bellamie profile image60
    Bellamieposted 8 years ago

    Wow, that is a real shame!  And probably not enough witnesses to make a case either, huh.

    1. Michael Willis profile image78
      Michael Willisposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      The others around would not have said anything. I had no choice but to let it go.

      1. TLMinut profile image60
        TLMinutposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Couldn't you have called or gone to the company yourself as a co-worker and given your take on the situation?

  5. Cagsil profile image82
    Cagsilposted 8 years ago

    Hey Bellamie, that's why I said what I said. Many states have in place a no "blacklist" law, which means that an employer cannot say anything negative about a previous employee to a future employer.

    The way around it is for the new employer to ask the singular question- "Would you re-hire the individual?" - if the previous employer says "No!", then that's all the new employer needs to know and can turn down the applicant. sad

  6. JMHeller profile image67
    JMHellerposted 7 years ago

    Yes it is true, an employer can fire you simply for not liking the cut of your jib. However, there are protections given to you under the law. An employer may not fire you if, you are injured, filed workers comp, whistle blower, race, gender, creed, or sexual orientation. If you believe you are being discriminated against for any one of these reasons, I would do my best to document all that you can. If you are in fact fired because of one of these reasons, you have a right to sue on grounds of wrongful termination.

    1. Michael Willis profile image78
      Michael Willisposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      AH, Worker's Comp.  I was fired immediately after the Workman Comp. people sent me a check after "They Chose" to close my case. I had no say in that.
      Of course I was back to work and doing the job, but when the Office staff groups together you have no recourse. Illegal, yes, but that is the way it goes in Arkansas. Worker's Comp laws here are written to protect employers, not the employees from illegal and harmful work conditions.

    2. Maembe profile image61
      Maembeposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      In many states an employer is allowed to fire you for your sexual orientation.  I don't know how many at the moment, but a few years ago it was 33.  Quite disturbing.

  7. readytoescape profile image59
    readytoescapeposted 7 years ago

    As I recall the laws there are just about the same as here in FLA and a lot of the southern states.

    1. Michael Willis profile image78
      Michael Willisposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      You mentioned you ran crews here in Arkansas and I see on your profile you were or you are still maybe, in construction. I do electrical work,

  8. TLMinut profile image60
    TLMinutposted 7 years ago

    I'm not sure AT WILL is so bad. Of course it can be abused but the other side is loser, lazy employees that can't be fired without the company having to pay for them.

 
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